SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Uplus Corp., South Korea’s No. 3 mobile carrier, said Tuesday its second-quarter net profit rose nearly 32 percent from a year earlier, driven by its robust wireless business.
Its net income amounted to 213.3 billion won (US$163.3 million) in the April-June period, up 31.7 percent from the year-ago period.
Operating profit for the April-June period was 288 billion won, up 15.9 percent from a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Revenue rose 1.3 percent to 3.42 trillion won.
The earnings exceeded market expectations. The average estimate of net profit by analysts stood at 174.3 billion won, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.
Sales from its wireless business rose 2.5 percent on-year to 1.57 trillion won in the second quarter, driven by a significant rise in mobile virtual network operators and the recovery of roaming sales.
The number of its mobile subscribers had increased by 14.3 percent on-year to 21 million as of end-June, with its 5G network users accounting for 57.2 percent of the total.
The company’s smart home business also saw its sales rise 4 percent to 502.9 billion won for the three-month period ending in June from a year ago thanks to an increase in IPTV and high-speed internet subscriptions.
IPTV grew 2.8 percent year-over-year driven by the sustained growth of basic fee revenue. Broadband grew 5.6 percent on-year, thanks to the steady growth of subscribers to Giga, LG Uplus’ high-speed internet service.
The company’s business-to-business sector posted 1.1 percent on-year growth based on new business agreements and the launch of related products.
It said a contract for wireless communication circuits in all Hyundai and Kia models in 2023 is expected to have a positive impact on its smart mobility revenue.
Also, U+Drive is set to be integrated into all Toyota car models to be released later this year.
In an earnings call, the company said it aimed to become one of the country’s core providers of electric charging services.
Last month, LG Uplus signed a contract with Kakao Mobility Corp., a mobility subsidiary of South Korea’s tech giant Kakao Corp, to set up a joint venture for an electric charging business. Each company has invested 25 billion won in the joint venture.
“The joint venture aims to provide high-quality charging services based on LG Uplus’ know-how of building and running infrastructure,” LG Uplus Chief Financial Officer Yeo Myung-hee said during the call.
The company said it will first build standard charging stations in homes around the country, before expanding into the fast charging service.
LG Uplus launched the electric vehicle charging service, VoltUp, earlier this year and streamlined other services as part of its strategy to expand its business portfolio to the burgeoning business.
LG Uplus shares went down 1.46 percent to 10,090 won on the Seoul bourse Tuesday, underperforming the wider market’s 0.26 percent loss.